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  • AKeem Jamal Rollins
    AKeem Jamal Rollins is a sexual health educator and writer from Cleveland, OH. He first began educating himself and his peers on HIV/AIDS and other STIs with The Street Crew of Greater Cleveland at the LGBT Community Center. As a safer sexual health educator, he has worked for Kaiser Permanente, City Year Cleveland, The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, Recovery Resources, and MetroHealth System where he is currently a PrEP Navigator. While not teaching sexual health, AKeem is a poet working on two book, Post Traumatic Hood Disorder and The Lynching of the God Ghost.
  • Allie Von Spreckelsen
    Allie Von Spreckelsen, freshman at American University. Passionate about social justice issues, and would like to pursue a career around that passion.
  • Allyson Hoover
    Allyson was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and currently works in North Carolina and Georgia in the film industry. She has worked on a variety of shoots throughout the past 4 years, ranging from thriller feature films to reality television shows, and many more in between. Allyson has a deep appreciation for humankind, and wants her work to reflect the idea that every human is valuable and important in the world. Her passion for storytelling through cameras drives her to continue pursuing her dream as a director of photography, has brought her to many new parts of the country and taught valuable life lessons along the way.
  • Angelo Ibasco
    A singer-songwriter from the Philippines who has been writing songs since 2011. He entered university as an architecture student but after two years switched over to English as his major to try learning more ways of writing. Taking inspiration from artists like Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, and Sam Smith, he likes to tell stories of his emotions through sometimes playful-sometimes somber music.
  • Arunima Gupta
    Arunima is a senior at the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering in Rockaway, NJ. She is extremely passionate about education, cognitive science, and mental health. Outside of school Arunima enjoys singing, dancing, playing tennis, volunteering, and talking to friends!
  • Aseelah Shareef
    Aseelah Shareef offers a unique combination and understanding of inspirational leadership, operations and logistics, organizational programming, and artistry, developed through intense non-profit environments demanding excellence, flexibility and the capacity to master multiple roles. Just a few of those roles include performing in Step Afrika!, the world’s only professional dance company dedicated to the art of stepping (body percussion), which toured nationally and internationally, and teaching and co-creating new curriculum for Dance at Cuyahoga Community College. Aseelah was the former executive director of Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre, Events Manager for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Director of Dance for Cleveland School of the Arts. Her most recent role is Director of Operations and Community Engagement at Karamu House, where she implements operational efficiencies across product lines, has developed new arts residency programs, as well as curates socially and culturally responsive community arts experiences including after-school and weekend arts education models for life-long learners. She is also currently serving as the Interim Executive Director of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the nation’s oldest municipal arts award. She was a member of the inaugural 2019 Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship cohort sponsored by Americans for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation and American Express. Her community involvement includes membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cleveland Arts Prize (Board Trustee), Ohio Citizens for the Arts (Board Member), the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Foundation (Board Member), Future Heights Grantmaking Committee (member) and College Now Greater Cleveland (mentor). Aseelah holds an MA in Arts Administration and BS in Exercise Science from The Florida State University.
  • Ayana Gray
    Ayana Gray is a New York Times bestselling young adult fantasy author and a lover of all things monsters, mythos, and magic. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where she reads avidly, follows Formula One racing, and worries over the varying moods of her adopted baby black rhino, Apollo, and her mini goldendoodle, Dolly. Her debut novel, BEASTS OF PREY, is being translated in 10 languages across five continents, and is in feature film development with Netflix.
  • Brianna Clay
    Brianna Clay is a writer, filmmaker, and content curator from Chicago who aims to tell stories that inspire change, fosters healing, and empowers underrepresented communities. She believes art is activism and sees storytelling as a vehicle for social change. In 2018 she co-directed the film Black Bones while attending the Nate Parker Film Institute which was screened at the 27th Annual Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. In 2020 she curated and produced a short video entitled Breathe as a response to the unjust killing of George Floyd and the protests that took place shortly after. Brianna continues to write, direct, and produce stories that positively impact society by using visual storytelling as a platform to raise awareness and cultivate empathy. She continues to work on personal projects focusing on stories that are often left untold.
  • Byron Johnson
    Byron Johnson is a Louisiana bred, Atlanta-living actor and storyteller driven by his love for God and impact. He dedicates his life to educate and be educated. He uses his creative platform to inspire others to search deep within themselves to become the best that they can be. Byron did not go to acting school, nor did he have a passion for it growing up. This lane chose him and now he walks a path by faith leading him along his journey. In addition to his time spent on set, Byron enjoys fitness, reading, adventures, time with family and friends and growing deeper in his relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is currently starring as Trent Tisdell on American Rust on SHOWTIME. You can catch Byron on Sunday nights at 9c/10 eastern to follow his latest project.
  • Carrington Hughes
    I’m a 16 year old sophomore at shaker heights school. My journey with EYEJ began with the YODJ program. I am now a member of the EYEJ youth council as a recruiter and speaker. I am also creator and owner of the blog @trulymetanoia on Instagram.
  • Cedrick Taylor
    Cederick Taylor is working diligently to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare as a MetroHealth Patient Navigator. As someone who is living with HIV, Cederick is skillful in establishing healthy relationships with his patients and becoming an advocate for individuals in need. This allows him to soar as Admin for the app “Positive Peers”. Cederick is full of curiosity, he finds joy in cycling, musical theatre, canoeing, modeling, DIY projects and massage. With the goal in mind of creating a talkback series around HIV and Community Health & Wellness, he strives to continue his education as a Community Health Worker.
  • Chanda Bynum
    Chanda Bynum is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and has been writing short stories since the age of ten. Introduced to spoken word and playwriting in high school, she has always felt compelled to tell her personal story and the stories of other people around her. Chanda desires to not only direct movies but also to write and produce a television series on a popular television network. Currently, she is interested in servicing others by telling their personal stories through unique perspectives and visuals to inspire diverse readership and viewership and bring people from all different backgrounds together.
  • Chanti Walker
  • Chelsea Battad
    Chelsea Battad is the President of the Pilipino American Unity for Progress, AKA UniPro, in Texas, and since the summer of 2020, she serves as a community organizer for NAFCON Texas. Last year, she also graduated from Baylor University with a business degree in Marketing and Corporate Entrepreneurship. Throughout college and post-grad, she has organized programs and events to empower young AAPI to rise up, use their voices, and take action to advocate for causes that pave the way towards genuine liberation, justice, and equality. Twitter & Instagram: @_chelsearose
  • Clyde Lawrence and Cody Fitzgerald
    Clyde Lawrence and Cody Fitzgerald are a pair of emerging composers from different musical worlds. They met at Brown University after realizing that their respective bands, soul-pop project Lawrence and indie-rock outfit Stolen Jars, were playing competing shows every weekend, and formed an unusual collaboration. With their different musical backgrounds, they found that they were able to mix genres and be more versatile than either could be on his own. The duo have worked on a number of film scores, including Disney’s Christmas feature Noelle, the Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei feature The Rewrite, indie feature Hard Sell, upcoming Sundance pick Landline, and the Cannes-featured short Open 24 Hours. Outside of film-scoring, both Clyde and Cody have also found success in their songwriting and artist careers. Clyde’s project Lawrence is the first band to be signed with pop star Jon Bellion’s record label, with their latest album Living Room reaching #2 on the iTunes soul charts and appearing on several Spotify editorial playlists including New Music Friday, culminating in a world tour that included stops at festivals like Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Firefly, Hangout Fest, and more. Cody’s project Stolen Jars has garnered praise from a number of sources including The New York Times, David Byrne of The Talking Heads, and NPR’s Bob Boilen, has been featured in an international Apple iPad Commercial, and in multiple feature films.
  • Dahyo Coleman
    Dahyo Coleman is currently a senior at Rutgers University, graduating in the Spring of 2022 with her BFA in Digital Filmmaking. Throughout these past years, she has had many opportunities to fuel her passion for creating through projects ranging from short films, music videos, and docu-series. Through film, Dahyo’s goal is to aid in the uplifting and liberation of ALL Black people.
  • Danielle Lee
    Originally from Cleveland, OH, Danielle Lee is an actress, writer, director and producer. Her most recent works includes the feature film, “12: The Tamir Rice Story”, and the short film “Peace for Justice”. Additionally, Danielle is a cum laude graduate of Los Angeles Valley College, where she earned an Associates of Arts degree in Sociology: Social Welfare. She is also a magna cum laude graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where she earned a dual bachelors degree in Theater Performance and Pan African Studies. It was through Pan African Studies that she discovered her passion for creating social justice films for the betterment of her community.
  • Diego Salazar Castro
    Diego is a TV and comic book writer who loves telling out-of-the-box stories about the migrant experience. He recently won a grant from WarnerMedia to develop THE EXTRA-ORDINARIES a story about superheroes and immigration. Born in Caracas and raised on a paradise island off the coast of Venezuela, Diego spent most of his childhood watching TV shows too mature for his young, impressionable age. As an adult, Diego has transitioned from watching mature and questionable content to writing mature and questionable content. Diego enjoys skateboarding, baking desserts and drawing butts. Diego doesn’t enjoy soup.
  • Dr. Ann Avery
  • Ernabel Demillo
    Ernabel is a veteran New York City broadcaster and journalism educator. For 10 years, she worked as a reporter and anchor on the Emmy-award winning FOX morning news show, “Good Day New York.” Before coming to New York, she was a reporter for the Orange County Newschannel and the CBS-affiliate in Sacramento. She currently hosts and reports for CUNY-TV’s 7-time Emmy-nominated program “Asian American Life”, a magazine show focusing on the Asian American community. She is also a tenured Journalism professor at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J. and currently serves as faculty chair of the Department of Communication and Media Culture.
  • Genesis Magpayo
    Genesis Magpayo is a 17-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Illinois and is one of the podcast co-hosts of Dear Asian Girl. She hopes to raise awareness of the hardships Asian Girls deal with today and give advice as well. In her free time, you will find her at your local library with boba or coffee at hand. Feel free to message her @genmagpayo
  • Ignacio Marquez
    IGNACIO MARQUEZ Contacto: + 58 4168092711 Mail: Director, guionista, teatrista, docente. Licenciado en Artes Mención Cine - Universidad Central de Venezuela. Nace en Bolivia, se cría en Argentina y se malcría en Venezuela. Director fundador de la casa productora EL DORADO FILMS. Su opera prima “LEY DE FUGA”, obtuvo el PREMIO ESPECIAL DEL JURADO en 17° RENCONTRES DU CINÉMA SUD-AMÉRICAIN MARSEILLE (2015). Su segunda obra, “ESPECIAL” fue reconocida con el SILVER HUGO – NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION, 56th CHICAGO FF - 2020. Director Artístico de la agrupación TEATRO DEL LABERINTO. Ha concebido, escrito, dirigido y producido proyectos teatrales y experimentales de alcance internacional. Desde 2012 hasta la fecha se desempeña como docente en la Escuela Nacional de Cine con sede en Caracas, Venezuela. FILMOGRAFÍA: 2014 LEY DE FUGA – Largometraje – Guión y Dirección. VILLA DEL CINE. Venezuela. HD. COLOR 85’’ PREMIO ESPECIAL DEL JURADO - 17° Rencontres du Cinéma Sud-américain dU Marseille (2015). 2020 ESPECIAL – Largometraje – Guión y Dirección. EL DORADO FIMS – DIVARTE CINE. Venezuela. HD. COLOR – SILVER HUGO – NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION – 56th CHICAGO FILM FESTIVAL – 2020
  • Jade A. Lawson
    Jade A. Lawson is an award-winning journalist and storyteller at the intersection of race, culture, and entertainment. In 2017, after undergrad she moved to New York to intern with Good Morning America. Jade's work spans across platforms under the ABC News flagship. As a culture reporter and producer, Jade has covered various topics, including HBCUs and social activism through the lens of sports and entertainment. She's contributed and produced three network primetime specials such as The Real Queens of Hip Hop: The Women Who Changed the Game and Soul of a Nation. Additionally, Jade has interviewed high-profile artists including, Mary J. Blige and Jazmine Sullivan. Inspired by the nostalgic 90's film, ‘BAPS’, Jade alongside two co-creators founded BAPS Productions. She is an alum of Hampton University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. When she's not creating, she’s either traveling or spending time with family and friends.
  • Jalea Jackson
    JALEAJACKSON FILMMAKER | CEO OF JJP Jalea Jackson is an Atlanta based Director, Producer, andEditor who aims to create films that spark conversation. An Honors and Theatre alumna from Louisiana StateUniversity (LSU), Jalea has won multiple awards for herwork as an editor, filmmaker, and producer. Her shortfilm, "Things With Feathers", a short narrative thatchallenges the cultural silence black women have createdas a coping method for sexual assault, has won severalawards and had successful screenings in New Orleans(New Orleans Film Festival), Los Angeles (Pan African FilmFestival), and Atlanta (Atlanta Independent Film Festival).In 2018, a short film she edited, "Blood Runs Down", won"Best Louisiana Short" at the New Orleans Film Festival. Jalea has served as a Media Loader on the feature film"Wellwood" and was an Assistant Editor for the Sundance2021 Award-Winning Feature Film "Ma Belle My Beauty",a New Orleanian-French inspired love story. She also wasthe Assistant Editor for the feature documentary"Commuted", a lyrical, poetic documentary that followsthe life of Daniele Metz after her release from prison bythe Clemency Act. Jalea currently serves as a Video Producer and Editor forVictory Church and is also a Producer, Editor, and Mentorfor the Nate Parker Foundation (NPF). NPF is a non-profitorganization that seeks to break the barriers in the filmindustry by empowering young voices of African descentto “tell their unique and diverse stories that mayotherwise not be heard.” Through her work, Jaleaintentionally focuses on telling stories centered onhighlighting the culture and authenticity of marginalizedcommunities and the human condition, all whilereclaiming the narrative of stories that are oftenmisconstrued or untold. CONTACT DETAILS 404-480-0137
  • Jean Bell
    Jean Bell was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, (Bedford-Stuyvesant). She attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and City College of New York (CUNY), in Harlem. She began running track in junior high school, and also competed in high school and college. She subsequently attended Brooklyn Law School and graduated in 1983. After passing the New York State bar, Bell began working as a practicing attorney. She founded Jeuness Track Club in 1985. Since 1993, she has worked as an Administrative Law Judge. She continues to serve as the head coach of Jeuness Track Club of Brooklyn, New York.
  • Jehan Patterson
    Jehan Patterson is a Writer/Director based out of his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. He previously studied at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta Georgia. His work aims to encompass nuanced and honest presentations of the human experience in the form of African-descended individuals.
  • Jen McMillen Smith
    Jen McMillen Smith is a Licensed Independent Social Worker who has been working with people living with HIV since 1998. With expertise in mental health and addiction, Jen created Compass Services at MetroHealth, where she facilitates support groups and provides counseling plus Rapid Start services for people who are newly diagnosed with HIV. Jen manages several HIV-related grants & projects, most notably a mobile app for 13-34 year olds living with HIV, Positive Peers. Jen has a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a BA in Sociology from Baldwin Wallace University.
  • Jimmie Woody
    Jimmie Woody (Actor) He most recently played Preston Walker in Nicole Salter’s Breakout Session/Frogorse’at Cleveland Pblic Theatre, Brucie in Lynn Nottage’s ‘Sweat’ at Cleveland Playhouse and he performed a workshop production of his one-man show Tale of a Geminirising at Cleveland Public Theatre. Jimmie Woody (Director) Some of his most recent directorial credits include:, ‘Brownsville Song/BSide for Tray’ (Dobama Theatre), ‘Art of Longing’ by Lisa Langford (Cleveland Public Theatre), ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, ‘Clybourne Park’ by Bruce Norris and ‘Raisin in the Sun’ by Lorrainne Hansberry (Weathervane Playhouse), ‘Lower Depths’ by Maxim Gorky, ‘The America Play’ by Suzan-Lori Parks (University of Akron), ‘Underground Griots’ by Natalie Parker & Keith Josef Adkins (Cleveland Public Theatre, The National Black Theater Festival and Here Café NYC), ’Wilberforce’ & ’Hollis Mugley’s Only Wish’ by Keith Josef Adkins and (Cleveland Public Theatre, The National Black Theater Festival & New York Hip Hop Festival), ‘The Baachae’ written by Wole Soyinka (Cleveland Public Theatre and Columbia University), ‘Song’ by Daniel Gray Kontar and ’InCogNegro’ by Lisa Langford (Cleveland Public Theatre). Jimmie received his M.F.A. in acting from Columbia University. He is a 2019-2020 Cleveland Public Theatre ‘Premiere Fellow’ and a 2012 Creative Workforce Fellow in theater. Instagram @the_labyrinth_ Facebook Jimmie Woody Linkedin Jimmie Woody
  • Josh Leong
  • Julianna Greenridge
    Julianna Greenidge is a Brooklyn based filmmaker and creator. Her goal in life is to help open doors for young black girls who want to act/make films. She is currently working on a documentary about racism and police brutality called DARKumentary. Ig: @_annailuj Twitter: @_annailuj TikTok: @_annailuj YouTube: Julianna Greenidge Website:
  • Julius
    Julius is an English teacher for a New York City private school. He was born in the Philippines, and currently lives in Queens, New York. He attended Hunter College for his B.A and M.A in English and Education. He has taught grades 6-12 for the last nine years. Over the years, he ran various clubs such as poetry, film, and comedy. He was also an assistant coach for the girl’s basketball team back in 2012. This year, he will teach AP Literature. His hobbies are writing, basketball, poetry, and has a passion for film.
  • Kathryn (Kat) Meyer, BA,RN,MSN, CNM, DNP, BC-FNP
    Kathryn (Kat) Meyer, BA,RN,MSN, CNM, DNP, BC-FNP has worked in sexual health for over 20 years. She has been at Metro for years specializing in sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For the past five years she has been focused on getting information on PrEP to the people who could be on it, and combating the rise of syphilis. She is also watching the emergence of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea with some anxiety. When not educating about, diagnosing, or treating STI's, she is usually embarrassing her children in front of their friends by... talking about STI's. Kat can be reached, and appointment for the PrEP clinic can be made at 216-778-8305.
  • Kenley Duke
    Kenley is a natural born storyteller with a keen eye for cultivating authentic content. Her background in psychology, filmmaking, and commercial advertising fueled her passion for writing and producing. From the seven cities to the A, Kenley has paved her way in the industry by serving the creative community as a production assistant turned executive assistant, turned content producer. As she stayed the course, her path aligned with major studio networks, commercial clientele, and global editorial platforms. During the global pandemic, she cofounded a creative agency, Mieux Ensemble, with her best friends that focuses on creative direction, copywriting, brand activations, and photo/video production. Kenley gives all of the glory to God who shines His light through her life. She is passionate about educating young professionals and bridging opportunity gaps in the film and media industry.
  • Kurt Orderson
    Kurt Orderson is an award-winning filmmaker from Cape Town, South Africa. He has directed eleven feature-length documentary films shot between five continents and more than 20 shorts. His films serve as a creative pedagogy by making use of historical, archival, political, and transnational solidarity traditions. His work explores unknown stories, asking critical questions to create new narratives in impermanent settings. In 2009 Kurt founded Azania Rizing Productions, an award-winning production company consisting of a collective of filmmakers and activists, creating film and media content that facilitates unity, solidarity, forms new alliances, and stimulates public discourse. Azania Rizing aspires to tell stories about Afrika, the Afrikan Diaspora, and Afrika's legacy in world heritage to revive political consciousness, honoring our struggle foremothers and fathers. Previously, Kurt worked for six years at the South African Broadcasting Corporation and several other international production companies. His work has featured on a broad spectrum of outlets, including Al Jazeera, ESPN, ZDF Germany, MTV Africa, Amazon Prime, TRT-Turkey, and HULU. "Not in My Neighourhood," his most recent film, has screened at over 27 film festivals and won the Audience Award at Encounters International Film Festival, Best Documentary at the HBO American Black and Jury Award (Outstanding Film) at the African International Film Festival. Kurt is the recipient of the Arrighi Center for Global Studies Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. At present, he's currently in early pre-productions with his upcoming magical realism feature narrative titled "ApeTown."
  • Leya Hale
    Leya Hale comes from the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Diné Nations. She makes her home in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her companion and children. She is a producer for Twin Cities PBS and is best known for her first feature documentary, The People’s Protectors, a Vision Maker Media grant production and winner of the 2019 Upper Midwest Emmy Award for Outstanding Cultural Documentary. In 2020, Leya was awarded the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and attended the 2020 Berlinale European Film Market as a NATIVe Fellow. Leya is currently working on her second feature, Bring Her Home, a documentary that follows three Indigenous women fighting to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives. When not producing feature documentaries, Leya works on a variety of short form content in efforts to create social change within the mid-west region.
  • Martinique Mims
    Martinique Mims is a writer, organizer, dancer and spoken word artist having performed around Cleveland for over 10 years. Her past experiences have impressed upon her the importance of giving youth and local artists a voice. Martinique believes that education and art have the power to transcend our circumstances. She uses the power of words to inspire change, uplift, and build community. She is excited and thrilled to start a new journey in diving deeper into marketing her children’s book.
  • Michelle Jackson Rollins
    Michelle Jackson Rollins, MSW is Founder/CEO of We Think 4 A Change. She completed her Masters of Social Work in May of 2016 at Cleveland State University. Jackson Rollins specializes in leading the organization through her keen expertise in community outreach, education facilitation, and working to increase awareness/reduce stigma surrounding HIV. She works tirelessly to develop effective partnerships and strategic alliances with agencies, foundations, corportations, and other service partners, both locally and globally, that are committed to HIV Awareness. Jackson Rollins has presented throughout the state of Ohio and nationally at various conferences and public events. On the local level, one of her many professional partnerships includes her continued service to Garden Valley Neighborhood House through various grassroots HIV programs including advocacy initiatives, testing, resource pooling, and event management. Her advocacy work has also extended as far as South Africa through the organization South African Impact and her HIV education and healthcare service to to three Zulu villages. Jackson Rollins earned her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Cleveland State University in May of 2015, and is a proud resident of Northeast Ohio.
  • Morgan Paige
    Morgan Paige is an author, serial entrepreneur, and artist from Columbus, OH. Her authorship has birthed two books, As Butterflies Rest.. Growing through Changes, and A Quarter of My Thoughts. Her entrepreneurship has taken her into fashion and event curating, serving as Founder and Creative Director of Mor Love Skate Club and Co-Organizer of Poetry Unplugged; a new and much appreciated addition to the open mic scene in Cleveland. As an artist her poetry EP A Steward’s Heart.. Volume 1 can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube. At the heart of her artistry is a strong love for God and for her daughter, Ava. Her efforts can be followed on Instagram at @morganpaigeartistry, @poetry.unplugged, and @morloveskateclub.
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